What To Do When You’re Really Good at Something You Hate

Earlier this week I prepared my self evaluation for my 90 day review. My supervisor and I met to go over it and she briefly told me that she’s going to prepare something official, but in the meantime, she wanted me to know I was doing well. And then she added the thing that has most impressed her about my work in these first three months.

When you managed registration at Winners! You were so great, greeting guests and keeping everything organized. You had it all figured out – it was really outstanding!

Something you may or may not know about me is that I hate events. Definitely my least favorite part of fundraising. And yes, Winners is the annual gala – an event.

My first reaction to this feedback was: Really? I’ve been doing all this other work and that’s what you point out?? But I decided to use this moment to understand more about her opinion. Here are a few things I suggest you identify when you get this feedback – that you’re really good at something you hate.

  • Identify what made you great. My time managing the registration desk and volunteers clearly stood out to my supervisor. Why? Well, I did everything from determine the check in process, to setting up materials, to training the volunteers, to greeting guests and introducing myself. And she didn’t have to ask me to do one thing. In short, I took initiative. I stood out because when I overheard a volunteer say a board member’s name, I took their nametag over to them and introduced myself. For me, taking the initiative is something that has come with time and experience. Hearing this feedback made me feel like I’m in a good place with that journey.
  • Identify something about it that you love. So I lied when I said I hate events. I hate event planning… but there are elements to the actual event that I love. Relationship building is one of those things, and that’s absolutely something that is essential to a good registration experience. I didn’t just stand there after training the volunteers, I met as many people as I could. And relationship building is the heart of fundraising – so it’s a good thing I love it!
  • Identify what you can translate to your other (more well-liked) duties. Something I can work on in my day to day job that I excelled at that night is to always be outgoing. As an introvert, I like to hear what others have to say before I chime in. That night I always spoke first – I threw caution to the wind and went for it. This is definitely something I can use when speaking with donors in other realms.

I guess there are worse things in life than being told you’re really good at something you hate. Like being told you’re really bad at something you love! But, as silly as it sounds, it’s actually a bit frustrating to hear. I hope these tips help you understand the feedback. I know they’ve helped me.

-N.C.

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